Monthly Archives: December 2010

Exercise : A sequence of composition

For this exercise I took images from a special birdwatching event at Martin Mere. My images were composed of visitors entering the centre, going on a guided walk, watching people take photos, feed the birds and the interaction with a keeper.

Event 1001

Event 2Event 3

Event 4017Event 5018Event 6019Event 7020Event 8021Event 9022Event 10002Event 11003Event 12004Event 13005Event 14006Event 15007Event 16008Event 17009Event 18010Event 19011Event 20013Event 21014Event 22015


I changed the viewpoint several times as I followed the tour group around the grounds. My favourite two images are the one of the giant red squirrel as part of the group, and the bird watcher feeding the birds where I changed angle to get the shot I wanted, the geese getting grain from his hand.

Exercise : Object in different positions in the frame

As this exercise required me to have a subject within an even background, I used a statue figure and placed it within a white mini studio that I have. I took four images with the subject in the centre, away from the centre and to the right, close to the edge and in the corner.


The plain background works in ensuring that the subject is the attention of focus and the eye is drawn to them only.

For me, I feel the image where the subject is in the centre works bests as thats where my eye naturally falls. Secondly the image just off centre (see above image) also works well and makes you more conscious of the space, and you begin to wonder why the space, what else is going on etc.

The image that worked the least was the one where the subject is in the corner of the frame, its as if you wanted to capture something else but missed. For this it would need a strong background to help put the subject into context such as the example of the rice farmer in the coursebook.

Exercise : Fitting the frame to the subject

For this, I decided to use an ornamental pot sculpture that I could have easy access to, and were about as necessary.

Image 1- This was the whole subject in the viewfinder, image taken quickly

Image 2- Zoomed in so the subject fits the frame

Image 3- Zoomed in on the part of the pot that’s just a beach hut

Image 4- Pot in its usual surroundings

I experimented in Photoshop and saved the differently cropped images.

Exercise : Panning with different shutter speeds

For this exercise i decided to go to a local wildlife and wetlands trust site, Martin Mere where there was a wide range of birds to use as subjects. While I usually prefer my images to be very sharp and to freeze the action, I found that the series I preferred were the ones with the slower shutter speeds as they gave me something totally different.

While I think more practice is needed, I liked the blurring of the subject, the water of the mere and the other birds that were in the background.

The two images that stand out are images 19 and 21. Image 19 was taken at a shutter speed of 0.5 and show the gull landing, catching the ‘finger’ effect of the feathers on its wing.


Image 21 captures 3 swans in flight, turning two of them to abstract shapes. This was taken at a shutter speed of 0.5 sec too


Exercise : Shutter Speeds

The subject that I opted for was a running tap. I chose this as there was a continuous moving flow,  a reasonably uncluttered background, and it allowed me to set up the tripod to take the series of images.

I took images from the fastest shutter speed through to the slowest so it ranges from 1/250 to 1/20” second. Again I set the camera to automatically adjust the aperture.

As I took a large range of images, I’ve chosen not to publish them here, i’ve put an image into my paper learning journal for course assessment which is my prefered one of the set.

Exercise : Focus with a set aperture

As per the last exercise, I worked with what I had access to at the time. Wanting to use a different subject from the row of books, I had the idea that I had seen previously- using printed words as a subject. I chose a broadsheet news paper that I had, I set it up with my camera mounted on my tripod and focused on the task.

I set the camera so that the shutter speed altered automatically so I could focus straight on the aperture needed for each image. I’ve marked on each image the limits of the sharpness as I’ve perceived them.




Exercise : Focus with a set aperture

I was undertaking this on a winters evening and as I was keen to progress, I looked into what indoor options I had. I tried a number of different compositions but eventually settled in books and bookends to give the distance needed.

For image one I focused on the bookend, then the second image in the middle of the frame was of the top of the books, and the final image was the last book in the row.

From printing the images, you certainly realise that the focusing really draws the eye into one specific point. After reviewing the images, I prefer the first one, where the focus is directly at the front on the bookend. I prefer it as it just seems to grab the eye and leads it in, then the unfocused line of the books makes the sharp image even stronger.


Exercise: Focal Length and Angle of View

Exercise 1: Focal Length and Angle of View

As the exercise was to point the camera at any scene, I decided to work with my current surroundings and took an image of a bookcase that we have. As the exercise required you to take an image with both eyes open, I found that quite strange to do, however it was a good exercise in getting an idea of focal length and viewing angle.

Interesting spiky plant


Just a test image from one I took a while ago to see how things work!

Shapes 1

My new blog

Wow, my first foray into blogging, I’ll be using this as my learning log for my course with the Open College of the Arts, The Art of Photography. I’ll be posting up information about the exercises and projects and some examples of my photographs as I go along too.